Even though I get really irritated by cyclists who don’t follow the rules of the road, I don’t, of course, generally make it a habit to tell strangers they are doing something wrong.
“Excuse me, you are in violation of Denver Municipal Code, Section 54-578, because you do not have any lights on your bike and it’s dark.”
“Dude, it’s actually safer to ride in the street, and it’s the law, so you should really get off the sidewalk.”
Right? No. Not a good idea.
The one area where I make an exception is when people are going the wrong way down a one way street. One, it makes me so incensed I’m moved to shout. Two, it’s the only thing you can kind of play off like, “Hey, maybe you didn’t know…?”
I mean, that’s happened to everyone, right? You’re not in a familiar neighborhood and you turn the wrong way down a one way street. I used to live on a one way street, and I probably saw someone going the wrong way about once a month. It happens, honest mistake.
So I tend to shout, in the nicest way one can shout, “Hey, his is a one way street!” As a helpful tip. Not as a reprimand.
But I shouted this to a dude yesterday who was riding the wrong way down Lawrence, in downtown Denver, in a traffic lane, in the closest thing Denver has to rush hour.
He turned and gave me a look that clearly communicated in one second that he did know he was going down a one way street, and that he did not care. And that he found me stupid for caring. His face was so smug and dismissive…so…facially eye-roll-y, that I very much wish instead I had shouted,
“Hey! This is a one way street, DUMBASS.”